“Eh…” aka Brimstone by Preston and Child

So you may have noticed that I’m on a Preston & Child kick. 

Despite Brimstone , I think I’m still on that kick.  All in all it’s not a bad book, but it’s not even close to any of their previous Pendergast tales.  This one, weighed in at some 750 pages so I was quite curious to dig into it.   But man, it rambles and at times outright bored me.  About 500 pages in I actually went into the library looking for a break – a new read, but decided to hold out and finish this one. 

So.. Interesting crime – decent backdrops – Agathie Christie style supporting characters – Pendergast is a little too perfect in this one (boring) – maybe about 50 pages worth of supporting info which I presume is important for the next in the series .  I have to believe if this book was edited to 400 pages (I’m serious, cut out 40% of it), it could have been as strong as the Cabinet of Curiosities or Reliquary.

Not so..  and it leaves me slightly disenchanted.

 

Zagg InvisibleShield full body case (for Blackberry Curve) review.

Long story short;

PROS: The screen protector is awesome.  Love it..  Indestructible.. saved my BB many times, it’s like a bullet proof vest

CONS: The full body shield is crap.  Looks good for the first month you put on, and I put it on pretty damn well too… but if you are like me, and you throw your phone in a pocket, laptop bag, business class airplane storage pockets it WILL collect lint, dust, grub, grime sand..  and then it’s just nasty looking ugly.  Any part of the Blackberry Curve that had a.. ehmmm curve pulled away from the body and got crusty. 

The flat pieces looks great after many months of hard use, and by this I mean the front screen and the back battery cover.  They sell Zaggs as screen shield only or as the full body models.  The screen protector is one of the best I’ve ever seen and is IMHO the only thing you need to get as far as Zagg goes.  For the BB body, maybe invest in a silicone case.. I haven’t got one yet so if anyone has any suggestions PLEASE let me know.  I prefer something thin and lightweight covering mostly just the sides and top

On to the pics

 

(Hey look it’s really free web hosting) 000Webhost.com review

Free, and I mean free-no banner ads or other kind of annoying crap-hosting is out there.  There’s a few sites offering LAMP (Apache, MySQL & PHP) based hosting with FTP access.  Now, as a rule of thumb you really get what you pay for.. and I’m not complaining at all about any free service, because.. well it’s free and we should just take the bland porridge and say “please Sir may I have some more?”.  I’ll pass on some of my findings of hosting with 000webhost.com over the past year.

PROS: This one is obvious, it’s free – no banner ads, decent amount of space, has MySQL database with phpMyAdmin, and even gives you PHP 5.2.x.  Plus there’s ftp access which means you dont have to fuss with some hokey web based file manager so they can spam your eyes out with partner ads (eh-hmm brinkster.com)

CONS: I’m gonna bullet these out…

  • You absolutely need to get some traffic…  I think about 10 page views a day on average but don’t quote me.  If you don’t get traffic, your site goes bubbye.. deleted
  • FTP is absolutely unreliable.  Yea they give you 1.5GB of storage space.  Good luck trying to upload even 300mb of it.
  • MySQL gets hammered and crashes a lot.  So if you try running wordpress… well I guess you TRY to run wordpress
  • Backups don’t really work, there’s a disclaimer saying the online backup tool fails regularly with sites larger than 100MB or so.

RELIABILITY:

Here’s a snapshot of site uptime for a MySQL based WordPress install – gets about 20 page views a day, but the site is undoutable one of hundreds if not thousands crammed into one of their servers.  Usually once every 2 weeks or so, MySQL will be unavailable for about half the day… usually right in the middle of the day.  I never ever bothered emailing support as it’s FREE hosting, and I just think they’re doing us a favor..and they’ll figure out from one of hundreds of other hostees that their site is down

 

date          uptime       dns   connect   request      ttfb      ttlb

2010-01-21    100.00     0.002     0.119     0.119     0.563     0.563
2010-01-20    100.00     0.003     0.124     0.124     0.458     0.459
2010-01-19    100.00     0.002     0.161     0.161     0.514     0.515
2010-01-18    100.00     0.003     0.089     0.089     0.390     0.391
2010-01-17    100.00     0.002     0.094     0.094     0.369     0.369
2010-01-16     98.90     0.002     0.096     0.096     0.395     0.395
2010-01-15    100.00     0.002     0.083     0.083     0.387     0.387
2010-01-14     65.22     0.002     0.052     0.052     0.260     0.260
2010-01-13    100.00     0.003     0.094     0.094     0.399     0.399
2010-01-12    100.00     0.003     0.093     0.093     0.402     0.403
2010-01-11    100.00     0.002     0.075     0.075     0.377     0.378
2010-01-10     98.90     0.002     0.087     0.087     0.571     0.572
2010-01-09     98.90     0.008     0.084     0.085     0.481     0.481
2010-01-08    100.00     0.003     0.119     0.119     0.494     0.494

——————————


minimum        65.22     0.002     0.052     0.052     0.260     0.260
maximum       100.00     0.008     0.161     0.161     0.571     0.572
average        97.28     0.003     0.098     0.098     0.433     0.433

Now, here’s the uptime log for another site that is pure HTML, and gets about 40 views a day


date          uptime       dns   connect   request      ttfb      ttlb

2010-01-21    100.00     0.002     0.049     0.049     0.115     0.115
2010-01-20    100.00     0.002     0.083     0.083     0.153     0.153
2010-01-19    100.00     0.002     0.051     0.051     0.117     0.118
2010-01-18    100.00     0.004     0.086     0.086     0.141     0.141
2010-01-17    100.00     0.036     0.139     0.140     0.230     0.232
2010-01-16    100.00     0.002     0.051     0.051     0.115     0.115
2010-01-15    100.00     0.002     0.051     0.051     0.102     0.102
2010-01-14    100.00     0.003     0.149     0.149     0.239     0.240
2010-01-13    100.00     0.002     0.051     0.051     0.110     0.110
2010-01-12    100.00     0.002     0.050     0.050     0.105     0.105
2010-01-11    100.00     0.004     0.051     0.051     0.105     0.105
2010-01-10    100.00     0.002     0.049     0.049     0.101     0.101
2010-01-09    100.00     0.002     0.049     0.049     0.102     0.102
2010-01-08    100.00     0.003     0.050     0.050     0.102     0.102

——————————


minimum       100.00     0.002     0.049     0.049     0.101     0.101
maximum       100.00     0.036     0.149     0.149     0.239     0.240
average       100.00     0.005     0.069     0.069     0.131     0.132
As you noticed, that’s some pretty good uptime.  In fact, if you just need to host a low traffic HTML site and don’t mind occasionally fighting with your ftp client as it disconnects from their servers, 000webhost.com is totally worth a try. If you have anything remotely important to host, save yourself the pain and go spend $3 a month and go to PlanetSMB.com.  I’ll post some uptime charts for two sites we have hosted there soon, it’s WELL worth the money. 
Lastly, if you’re thinking of hosting a database driven site there (unless you’re just monkeying around learning PHP & MySQL) don’t even bother trying to host a site that you need to count on being available.

That ugly little Brewster Buffalo

Just got Tamiya’s 1/48 scale Brewster Buffalo (Pacific Theater) kit from Amazon”!  Free shipping and around $20, a fair find considering they are running about the same on ebay plus some shipping.  The kit itself looks rather simple, as you can see there aren’t many parts.  One of the big draws for me was the option to use Dutch or British decals.  I’d love it if the kit offered Finnish decals – now that would be a really hard choice for me … Dutch or Finnish?  Hmm, either one is suh a treat for the obscurity factor alone.  Anyway, it’ll probably be a couple months before I get to this kit.  I need to finish the Tamiya, Grumman F4F Wildcat I’m working on first.  Look for later update as I start working on this kit.  

I’ll post some pics of the Wildcat as a work in progress too.